Posts Tagged ‘networks’

Fox Finishes Upfront Sales Strong Thanks to Interest in New Shows Like Lethal Weapon

July 13, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

After nursing its wounds during last year's upfront presentation, Fox is in a much more celebratory mood this time around. The Fox Networks Group—which includes Fox, Fox Sports, FX, FXX, National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo Wild and Nat Geo Mundo (but not Fox News Channel)—has wrapped its upfront negotiations with volume increases of around 5 percent in CPM (cost per thousand viewers reached) and gains in the high single-digits to low double-digits, according to a person familiar with negotiations. This is a big reversal from last year's mediocre upfront, where Fox—which had fallen to fourth place in the 18-49 demo despite the arrival of Empire—had CPMs that were down as much as 2 percent below the 2014-15 upfront. Volume had been flat at the time. Fox rebounded slightly this past season to third place among the broadcast networks. For the second upfront, ad sales chief Toby Byrne and his team sold inventory across its entire portfolio (except for Fox News). The group had upfront success with its plans to reduce National Geographic Channel's ad load by up to 50 percent for its new series and specials. Fox had the strongest buyer interest from new fall dramas Lethal Weapon and Pitch, as well as midseason entries 24: Legacy, Star and its revival of Prison Break. Buyers had reacted enthusiastically to almost all of Fox's new shows during May's upfront presentation. The network will premiere all 16 of its fall series during a one-week blitz in September. Fox kicked off the marketing campaign for fall baseball drama Pitch during last night's 87th MLB All-Star Game. ABC finished its upfront sales last week, while CBS and The CW wrapped up their upfront deals on June 27

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Report: Viacom Ad Sales Chief Jeff Lucas Is Headed to Snapchat

May 31, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Viacom's situation—in which its founder, CEO and board of directors are all engaged in a bitter legal battle over the company's future—just might have gone from bad to worse. Just a week after buyers told Adweek that the Viacom upfront will progress smoothly as long as Jeff Lucas, head of marketing and partner solutions for Viacom, remains at the helm, a New York Post report claims that Lucas will be leaving Viacom in July to become COO of Snapchat. Viacom and Snapchat said the report was inaccurate, with Viacom insisting that Lucas remains completely focused on Viacom's upfront. But both companies stopped short of issuing a full denial. In other words, Lucas could indeed be focused on the upfront for now, and then step aside for the Snapchat job later in the summer. Lucas joined the company in 2005 as svp of Comedy Central ad sales and marketing. He's risen through the ranks and was named head of sales for MTV Networks' music and entertainment groups in 2010. In March 2015, he was put in charge of the entire Viacom portfolio. Lucas has already been working closely with Snapchat. In February, Viacom began selling ads on behalf of the social network and launched global Discover channels for MTV and Comedy Central

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Steve Harvey on Advertising Inequality, His Punishing Schedule and Retirement Plans

May 24, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

For his cover story in last week's issue of Adweek, Steve Harvey talked about how he juggles four hit TV series (soon to be five) and a radio show , and how he survived his Miss Universe debacle and came out the real winner . But with so many shows and project on his plate, there wasn't space in the magazine for everything that Harvey discussed. Here are the best moments that didn't make it into the story, including Harvey's thoughts on his punishing schedule, why his shows don't always bring in the ad revenue that they should and how he plans to spend his retirement: Six shows, three cities Harvey wasn't kidding when he said his mantra is to make every minute count. Filming five TV shows and a radio show requires him to commute between three different cities: Atlanta (his home, where his business offices and radio studio are located, and where he shoots Family Feud 10 weeks each summer, four episodes a day, for 200 shows a season), Chicago (he tapes two episodes of his talk show each Tuesday and Thursday, from late August to May, 140 episodes per year); and Los Angeles (he taped Little Big Shots for a week last October and a weekend in November; Celebrity Family Feud shoots two weekends in March and Dream Funder, his upcoming ABC series, will film on weekends sometime between October and November). And 272 days a year, he records his four-hour morning radio show from whichever location he happens to be in. Harvey works nonstop—sometimes six or seven days a week—except for three weeks around his wedding anniversary every year, and two weeks at Christmas. He knows that five weeks of vacation sounds like a luxury to some, "but it's 47 weeks of high level intensity on-camera, in your face. It's a lot of pressure right now. I can handle it, because I enjoy what I do. But I don't know how long I'll do all of them." (In the story, he said that he plans to walk away from one of his TV shows: "I do love all of these gigs, but something is going to have to go for sure.") Advertising inequality During his cover interview, Harvey spoke out against the industry's tendency to marginalize him as an entertainer who only appeals to minority audiences. His WB sitcom drew ratings similar to those of other shows on the network, like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, yet received fewer ad dollars because it was deemed a "black" show. "We've got to stop that. Pay a person for the number they get, and pay the advertising on the show based on the number that show gets. They find a way to cheapen it by saying, 'Well, you've got too many African-Americans watching here, too many Latinos, not enough whites. They use that just to get a lower rate and that's so unfair, man," said Harvey. "Every corporation has a 'multicultural marketing department,' which is just another word for the blacks and the Mexicans. Really, that's what it is. And that's so ridiculous. Family Feud isn't big because of black people or just white people

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Future of Telenovelas Split at Telemundo and Univision as the Genre Evolves

May 18, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Much like their American cousin the soap opera, telenovelas, which originated in Latin America, have the same sappy tone, breakneck production schedule and five-times-a-week run. But as U.S. Hispanic audiences get younger and savvier, the two leading Spanish-language TV networks in the U.S. are going their separate ways when it comes to the prime-time staple. As Univision doubles down on its production of telenovelas, Telemundo is moving away from them. At its upfront presentation at New York's Lyric Theatre Tuesday morning, Univision evp and CMO Jessica Rodriguez announced the network is in production on 15 new telenovelas. Unlike, Telemundo, which prides itself on producing much of its own content at studios in Miami and Los Angeles, Univision imports its content from Mexican network and production house Grupo Televisa. "Drama is our prime-time TV mainstay. The telenovela is a deeply embedded part of our culture," Rodriguez said, acknowledging, "even the best of genres needs to evolve." So Televisa, which has an ownership stake in Univision, spent 18 months studying the U.S. Hispanic audience. They found them to be younger and more educated and are viewers who seek "strong independent protagonists and stories that are crisp, and don't take so long to unfold," said Jose Antonio 'Pepe' Baston, president of Television and Content for Grupo Televisa. In a taped appearance, Baston said the intent was to "create content that is more relevant to our huge U.S. Hispanic audience." In contrast, at a press event last week held before its combined upfront with NBCU on Monday, Telemundo president Luis Silberwasser announced the network was moving away from telenovelas, while continuing to produce prime-time dramas it calls "super series." The Telemundo shows are darker: more guns and grit, less love and lust. One show, El Chema, bears a striking resemblance to the story of El Chapo, right down to the daring underground prison escape. Telemundo is also in production of three serialized dramas and two mini-series, including an expansive period piece called Cortes, Conquistador de Mexico. Meanwhile, Telemundo digital is keeping the network in the telenovela game, partnering with BuzzFeed on a 10-part series that has "all the elements of a telenovela, with a modern twist," said Peter Blacker, Telemundo's evp of digital. All of this comes on the heels of NBC canceling a sitcom named for the genre.

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Fox Continued the Assault on Digital Media Metrics, and Wowed Buyers With a Solid New Slate

May 17, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Just two events into the broadcast upfronts, the theme of this week is already clear: after absorbing punches from digital video companies for two weeks during the NewFronts, where they used questionable metrics to make the case that audiences are abandoning broadcast TV, the networks are swinging back, and giving every bit as good as they got. That was the case at Fox's upfront presentation, as the network set the tone early for buyers assembled at New York's Beacon Theatre. Fox played a video featuring Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, who humorously discussed Fox's ability to attract and keep viewers' attention with "premium ads with attention-getting premium content," as opposed to "cheap ads paired with user-generated content on digital media. Why? No one knows or cares!" said MacFarlane. Toby Byrne, president, advertising sales, Fox Networks Group, extolled Fox's ability to earn "attention" with incredible scale (the same points he hammered home during FX's upfront in March ). Byrne repeatedly slammed digital video, which he termed "non-premium, subprime video," and noted that "the digital metrics game is rigged." As an example, he compared the published audience reach of "a YouTube star" and a World Series game, which both were 14 million. But the average audience for that YouTube star was only 1,620. Using YouTube's metrics, he added, the World Series game would have racked up 6.8 billion views. "Impressions for subprime video can't compare to TV's delivery," said Byrne. He noted that the highest viewer engagement happens on VOD, where Fox Networks have the top 6 VOD programs (including the top 4 broadcast series: Empire, The X-Files, Lucifer and Scream Queens), and over half of the top 50 VOD shows. Adding Hulu and other streaming outlets, 28 percent of Fox's entertainment viewing is non-linear, Byrne said

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NBC’s Robert Greenblatt Has No Regrets About His Surreal Upfront Duet with Dolly Parton

May 12, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt hates sitting through upfront events as much as you do. "I think those upfronts tend to be just mind-numbing for the audience. They go on too long, and we show clip after clip and they become routine and formulaic," Greenblatt said. So as NBC was preparing for last May's presentation at Radio City Music Hall, Greenblatt was eager to shake things up. "I thought, is there something that we can do that just feels different?" The result was surprising and surreal : partway through the proceedings, Greenblatt introduced Dolly Parton, who performed her song "Coat of Many Colors," which was the basis for the first of several movies NBC was going to make based on her life and music. Then, she asked Greenblatt to join her on "I Will Always Love You" —and he did. While the exec held his own on the piano ("He usually sings with me," Parton said), it didn't make the spectacle any less bizarre. "People thought, 'What is he thinking?'" said Greenblatt. Still, the duo received a standing ovation as Parton cracked to advertisers, "we're looking forward to many projects, so get that money out!" A year later, Greenblatt said he "can't articulate" what prompted him to make the movie deal with Parton. "It was just kind of a gut instinct, even though doing a holiday family movie with Dolly Parton probably sounded as silly as doing a live musical called Sound of Music," said Greenblatt. "It seemed like a good idea. I've known her for years, and I've done other things with her"—including producing the Broadway musical based on her film 9 to 5, which Parton wrote the music and lyrics for—"so I knew that there's a certain base level of belovedness for her." It was that same gut instinct that led to last year's upfront duet. "I wanted to do something at the upfront that was going to not only get attention, but be fun for us and for the audience," Greenblatt said. "And that was organic and seemed to be a good idea at the time, and it worked." It did, but it also became a running punch line through the rest of the week's upfronts. "Oh yeah, like Jimmy Kimmel calling me a fool, I think he said," recalled Greenblatt

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Guide to Broadcast TV’s Renewals and Cancellations

May 10, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

With broadcast upfront week rapidly approaching, the five broadcast networks are putting the finishing touches on their fall schedules by making final decisions on which of their current shows will continue and which will end. There are less question marks than usual this week, as ABC, which used to wait until the last minute under former president Paul Lee to renew any of its series, picked up most of its shows two months ago, shortly after Channing Dungey stepped in as ABC Entertainment chief. Likewise, CBS, which also has a new network president this year, Glenn Geller, renewed several shows already, while The CW picked up 11 series in one fell swoop. Here's what we know now about the fate of the shows that aired during the September-to-May broadcast season. This list will be updated throughout the next two weeks as final verdicts are made ahead of the upfront presentations, so keep checking back for the most up-to-date information. While some canceled series will desperately search for new linear or digital homes—hoping to follow the lead of The Mindy Project, which jumped from Fox to Hulu this time last year—most of them will be gone for good. Official renewal/cancellation announcements appear below in all caps, followed by the date the decision was made, while breaking updates will be added in bold. For those shows whose future remains unclear, check out our best guess about its likely fate: ABC Freshman Series: Blood and Oil — Undecided, but its episode order was trimmed (this one is done) The Catch — Undecided (a toss up, but more likely to return, as ABC could give this another year to find itself, while keeping executive producer Shonda Rhimes happy) Dr. Ken — Undecided (expected to return) The Family — Undecided (unlikely to return) The Muppets — Undecided (its much-needed midseason reboot failed to reverse its ratings slide, so this is likely done) Of Kings and Prophets — CANCELED (March 17) Quantico — RENEWED (March 3) The Real O'Neals — Undecided (a toss-up) Wicked City — CANCELED (Nov. 13) Returning Series: American Crime — Undecided (one of Paul Lee's favorites, but now Lee is gone, it's less likely to return, despite its critical accolades) America's Funniest Home Videos — RENEWED (March 3) The Bachelor — RENEWED (March 3) Beyond the Tank — Undecided (very likely to return) Black-ish — RENEWED (March 3) Castle — Undecided (expected to return, possibly for a final season, though Stana Katic won't be along for the ride) Dancing with the Stars — RENEWED (March 3) Fresh Off the Boat — RENEWED (March 3) Galavant — Undecided (unlikely to return; its fate was sealed the day Paul Lee left) The Goldbergs — RENEWED (March 3) Grey's Anatomy — RENEWED (March 3) How to Get Away With Murder — RENEWED (March 3) Last Man Standing — Undecided (likely to return) Marvel's Agent Carter — Undecided (doesn't look good, especially if the new Agents of SHIELD spinoff, Marvel's Most Wanted, gets a series pickup) Marvel's Agents of SHIELD — RENEWED (March 3) The Middle — RENEWED (March 3) Modern Family — RENEWED (March 3) Nashville — Undecided (a tossup; while audience interest has cooled, it could beat the odds again and return, possibly for a final season) Once Upon a Time — RENEWED (March 3) Scandal — RENEWED (March 3) Shark Tank — RENEWED (March 3) CBS Freshman Series: Angel From Hell — CANCELED (Feb. 8) Code Black — Undecided (its prognosis isn't good) Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders — Undecided (could go either way) Life in Pieces — Undecided (seems a lock to return) Limitless — Undecided (very likely to return) Rush Hour — Undecided (unlikely to return) Supergirl — Undecided (likely to return, though its studio and CBS are looking to trim its budget; the show could ultimately jump to sister network The CW) Returning Series: The Amazing Race — RENEWED (March 25) The Big Bang Theory — RENEWED for three seasons (March 12, 2015) Blue Bloods — RENEWED (March 25) Criminal Minds — RENEWED (May 6) CSI: Cyber — Undecided (unlikely to return; looks like the end of the line for the CSI franchise, at least for now) Elementary — RENEWED (March 25) The Good Wife – CONCLUDED (Feb.

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What’s Keeping Broadcast Presidents Up at Night as They Plan Pitches to Advertisers?

May 9, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

It all comes down to this. The broadcast upfronts are just days away, which means it's crunch time for the network presidents. They and their top execs will be spending the week hunkered down as they review their new pilots and make the final, agonizing decisions about which new and returning shows will and won't make it onto the 2016-17 schedule that they present to advertisers and buyers next week. All the networks have one goal this week: strengthen their schedules from this season. "It sounds so simple, but it's actually much harder than you think," said CBS Entertainment president Glenn Geller, whose network will finish the season first in total viewers, adults 18-49 and adults 25-54. "You want to make moves that are going to improve time periods, but there's the risk that when you move a show, you may hurt the numbers. But you have to make space for new shows, so you have to continue to try new things. It's a balancing act." Geller is one of two presidents making their upfront picks for the first time this year, along with ABC Entertainment chief Channing Dungey, who replaced Paul Lee less than three months ago. Not coincidentally, both new chiefs renewed the bulk of their current prime-time lineups unusually early (in March), which leaves them with fewer last-minute programming decisions to make than usual. While NBC will slip to No. 2 this season in the 18-49 demo after two years on top, NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt is actually more optimistic than ever about piecing together his new schedule. "What I'm feeling good about this season, which I have not felt in the four or five previous years, is that we have a fair amount of shows that are working and solid. We've always been plugging holes and trying to just keep things afloat because so much stuff was failing as we tried to rebuild," said Greenblatt

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Check Out Gayle King’s Colorful, Down-to-Earth Home Away From Home at CBS

April 25, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Since CBS This Morning debuted in 2012, it's enjoyed steady gains for the network in the daypart. It's the fastest-growing network morning show, in fact, averaging 1 million more viewers than when it launched. That success has much to do with the warm and cheerful presence of co-host Gayle King, who, in addition to her CBS digs, keeps an office up New York's 57th Street in the Hearst Tower, where she serves as editor at large of BFF Oprah Winfrey's O, The Oprah Magazine. She has filled her CBS workspace (pictured here) with her favorite things: a painting she got in Telluride, Colo., photos of her children, a signed copy of the play Hamilton. Mostly, though, the domain, just like King herself, is traditional and down to earth. "I'm not a contemporary, modern girl—chrome, silver, glass," she said.

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Michael Strahan Is Leaving Live to Work Full Time at Good Morning America

April 19, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Michael Strahan is leaving Live with Kelly and Michael, but viewers will still be able to spend their mornings with him. After four years co-hosting Live with Kelly Ripa, the former NFL star is departing to work full time at Good Morning America starting in September. He joined GMA two years ago, working twice a week, before heading over to Live. Strahan, who retired from the NFL in 2008, will continue co-hosting Fox NFL Sunday during the football season. "Over the past two years on GMA, Michael's proven to be a tireless and versatile broadcaster with an incredible ability to connect with people, from veterans and all kinds of newsmakers to a host of modern American cultural icons," said ABC News president James Goldston in a statement. "He is a great modern thinker and leader, and with our brilliant team in front of and behind the cameras, he will help us drive forward into a very exciting future." "I look forward to continuing to work with the incredible team at GMA. It is an exciting opportunity to be able to bring unique stories and voices to the audience," said Strahan in a statement. "My time with Live with Kelly and Michael has been transformative, and my departure will be bittersweet." Live is the No. 2 syndicated daytime show behind Dr. Phil but is tied for first among women ages 25 to 54 and leads all daytime shows in households with a 2.9 rating. GMA hopes Strahan's presence will help reverse its ratings slide. In 2012, the morning show overtook Today in total viewers after a 16-year streak, but Today recently reclaimed the lead in the 25-54 demographic, the key morning show demo. Strahan's departure leaves behind a hosting vacancy at Live. The show is expected to conduct on-air tryouts this fall to find a replacement, just as it did when Strahan took over for Regis Philbin and Ripa replaced Kathie Lee Gifford in 2001.

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